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Domain Name Appraisal Scam

DomainNameAppraisalScam.jpgDomain Name buying and selling has recently become a hobby of mine. Although I've yet to make any money from it. So I was quite interested when this message popped into my email the other day. Interested and wary.

From: Harrison [management@phreaker.net] Hello,
We’ve have visited several online auctions. We are very interested in your domain name.
Just email me your price and we will consider it.
Of course, domain reselling is not a main direction of our business (we develop software). But domain aftermarket is hot now, so we are always interested in domain names.
Looking forward to do business with you. Regards,
Anthony Harrison
PDS Consulting

So I think hmmm. Either this guy is a complete amateur or he's a moron. Plus he doesn't write very good English, which always makes me suspicious. But what the hell, I'll bite. So I email him back - "If you're serious, make an offer". And bugger me, back comes -

Malcolm, Can you accept 9,000 USD? Do you sell domain with a web site or just the name?
Domain without content is ok with me. Web site is not necessary.
Have you had your domain names evaluated in the past? I mean domain appraisals.
Without valuation we cannot be sure in the sale price. It’s very important for me in terms of reselling too.
But we must engage a valuation company with REAL manual service. So I will only accept valuations from independent sources I trust.
To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal companies.
Please check this posting from archive: (here he had a link to a dodgey domain appraisal business) If, for example, the valuation comes higher you can adjust your asking price accordingly. It will be fair. I also hope you can give me 12% - 15% discount.
After you send me the valuation via email (usually it takes 1-2 days to obtain it) we’ll continue our negotiations.
What is your preferred payment method: Escrow.com, International wire transfer, PayPal.com or something else?
Hope we can come to an agreement fast.
Looking forward to your reply.

So immediately I think "9000 clams for Metronicity.com" WTF? I think it's a good name but this is bullshit. Noone would start with an offer that high. And why does he want me to get an appraisal? And conveniently supply a link to his preferred appraisal company? This isn't normal business practice surely? If you were interested in something you would do your research - your due diligence and make your offer. Something doesn't add up here.

So I did a search online with Domain name appraisal scam and sure enough, this clown's been trying this on all over the net. Sometimes using different names but with basically the same spiel. And believe or not people are actually falling for this. They are spending $50 to get their domain names appraised from the company he suggests. Obviously he's an affiliate - he's getting a kickback or he might even own the dodgey appraisal site.

It was a new one to me. I emailed him back - "Nice try. I give you 1 for cheek and 1 for presentation. Your score: 2/10"

BTW I've just had a legitimate offer of $400 on GreatBarrierBeef.com which cost me $10 to register a week ago. I didn't accept the offer and now it goes to auction with Sedo.co.uk. If there's no other bid I have to sell it for the $400. I'll take it. Great name for an Australian-themed steakhouse don't you think?

Today I registered YourInternets.com and Uh-Huh-Uh-Huh.com - and I'm rather keen on them both. I also like Bizoid.com. Ah well...keeps me out of the pub.

Domain Name Appraisal Scam.

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Reader Comments (3)

I just came across one such clown and he had exactly same working for his emails like you have on this site...phew...
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraG
1st of all that was a FANTASTIC article. 2nd of all CONGRATS to you for using your gut feeling and researching on the internet to make sure you weren't being scammed. :-)

Anytime I get an email with any link mentioned I always research on the internet.

A GREAT website to make a complaint on the internet and to see if a particular website has any complaints check www.rip-offreport.com (ya might want to do some research to make sure that I am NOT scamming you with that link. Lol. I'm only kidding. ;-)

Seriously though that is a GREAT website. :)

Another website I recommend you to check out and signup for their newsletter is www.scambusters.org. Every week i get an email from them letting me know the latest scams on the internet and how to avoid being scammed. :)
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDomainer
Nice article, i was about to be scamed.
December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

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